Clint Malarchuk, former NHL goalie, shared his story about life on and off the ice at MSU, Mankato

KEYC News Now at 6 Recording
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 6:57 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Nearly 600 students and members of the community welcomed Clint Malarchuk, former NHL goaltender, to MSU. He shared his journey as a hockey player who lived with depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

“Young men and women really struggle like I did, and so I tell my story and tell my recovery and how I got where I am today,” said Malarchuk.

Malarchuk played professional hockey for almost 2 decades. But one game would have a profound impact on his life. A player’s skate made contact with his neck, slicing his jugular vein.

10 days later, Malarchuk was back on the ice, with no counseling.

“Yeah, back when I played, oh man, that was a ‘no’. No, you didn’t, you didn’t say ‘boo’ because you’re supposed to be tough. You’re an athlete playing at the highest level,” reminisced Malarchuk.

In the late 80s, Malarchuk says there was a huge lack of resources and few conversations about mental health. He said it’s a lot better today, but still not enough.

“No. No, you didn’t talk about it. And that’s why I think we make great strides, but we still got a long way to go,” said Malarchuk.

While Malarchuk healed physically from his injury, his mental wellbeing continued to worsen. 20 years after the incident, he attempted suicide by pointing a gun to his chin and pulling the trigger. The bullet lodged in his sinus pathway, which stopped it from causing more damage.

He said surviving another close encounter with death once again gave him another opportunity to tell his story.

“My life and more importantly about my recovery. You know, what I had to go through to get where I am today, and it was a hard long road, but I’m doing it and you know, I still struggle, we all do and it’s not always about mental illness. It’s about emotional distress and we can all relate to emotional distress,” explained Malarchuk,